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School Bus Drags First-Grade Girl for Nearly a Mile

The Short of It

It's too horrifying to believe; a school bus dragged a first-grader for almost a mile after closing the door on her arm.

The Lowdown

I pick my second-grader up from the bus stop every day, and I never think the despicable incident that took place in Forsyth County, N.C., could happen to her. But this upsetting story serves as a sobering reminder of how important bus safety is.

On Monday, 6-year-old Chelsea Klepzig's grandmother watched in horror as her granddaughter got off the bus, and the driver drove off too soon, dragging the trapped child for nearly a mile.

"I had to follow him. I kept flashing him to stop, stop because I didn't see her feet anymore. [He] didn't even give her a chance to move. She was still in the door," recalls Estrella Klepzig.

Chelsea's parents say her feet and legs dragged along the road the entire way, and she suffered bruises and scratches. But they are just happy she didn't fall underneath the school bus.

Now the Klepzigs have questions, especially since bus drivers are supposed to wait for children to cross the street in front of the bus before moving.

"If he was following any kind of procedure that he should be following, why didn't he notice that my child didn't make it around the front of the bus?" asked her father John.

The Upshot

The negligent 78-year-old bus driver involved in this horrifying incident, Rueben Hash, was a subsitute and had worked for the school district for 15 years without any previous incidents. He resigned this morning. No formal charges have been filed at this time. According to Theo Helm, chief of staff with Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools, every school bus driver in the district receives safety training but reminders have been placed in each bus.

The 17 other kids on the bus at the time of the dragging reportedly didn't see what happened, but if they need to, counselors are available.

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